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Bottled Water: Better than tap?

IS BOTTLED WATER WORTH THE EXTRA COST?

Americans spend millions of dollars each year on bottled water because they believe it is safer than regular tap water. But is the bottled water really safer and worth your hard earned dollars?

Americans are drinking bottled water in record numbers--a whopping 5 billion gallons in 2001, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), an industry trade group. That's about the same amount of water that falls from the American Falls at Niagara Falls in two hours.

Water, of course, is essential to human health. Drinking enough water to replace whatever is lost through bodily functions is important.   And of course, bottled water is a better alternative than sugar-laden soft drinks and some fruit juices. Explosive growth in the industry for more than a decade has placed bottled water in nearly every supermarket, convenience store and vending machine from coast to coast, where dozens of brands compete for consumers' dollars.   With bottled water so easily available, many consumers may shy away from the option of bottling their own tap water, which may be just as safe and regulated as purchased water.    In fact, the bottled water that you are paying for may be the same exact water that is available for free in your very own kitchen.

The bottom line is that you can easily save thousands of dollars every year by installing a filter in your sink and refilling portable bottles.   This also reduces the amount of plastic and glass that is discarded and helps conserve our natural resources.   In addition, filtering your tap water can resolve the issue of "taste".   If you find the taste of your tap water is not appealing, the filter will improve this and make the water more palatable.   Filtering units are easily available to consumers in many different price ranges/styles via the Internet and stores like Target.

In order to help you determine which option is best for you and to learn how you can verify the source of any bottled water you purchase, please check out the links below.

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/402_h2o.html

http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/qbw.asp